Group riding is just slightly different than riding alone. When riding in a group there are several rules you should take into consideration.
- Being Predictable – this is the most important rule when riding in a group or riding alone. Stop at all stop signs. Signal all turns. Stop at all stop lights. Follow all the rules of the road and motorist will start getting the hint that we’re traffic too!
- Riding Bar to Bar – When riding in a large group it is important to side by side with another rider. Anymore than two riders beside each other on a road beside each other is a tight fit and potentially dangerous.
- Overlaping Wheels – Do not do this. Make sure you are giving yourself enough distance from the rider in front of you. If the rider makes an unpredictable move it will send you both down.
- Announce Hazards – Be sure to point out hazards in the road when riding. Rocks, pot holes and other road obstructions can be very dangerous. Pointing hazards out will increase the odds of an awesome group ride.
- Signaling – Make sure you signal when turning or changing lanes. This will help the other riders and motorist know your motives. Extend your left arm when signaling to turn left. Extend your right arm when signaling to turn right or raise your left arm in an upright position to turn right. If it is difficult to signal and turn it’s okay to put your arm out signaling the direction change prior to the turn.
- Call Back – Calling back is a way to keep all riders alert when action is happening. Common call backs you might hear and their meaning:
CLEAR – Commonly used to note that intersections are free and clear from traffic.
CAR UP OR CAR BACK – This indicates there is a car around and the group might need to slow.
ON YOUR LEFT – You will hear this when a rider is passing you on the left. It is common to say “Thank You” as a response to indicate you heard the rider.
SLOWING/STOPPING – Use this to indicate to the rest of the group if the group is to slow down or stop entirely.
- Climbing – Riding up hill can be difficult especially in a group setting. Make sure you keep a steady cadence (your pedal rhythm) and gear down or up to maintain that cadence.
- No Rider Left Behind – When riding in a group it is custom to have a sweep, someone who rides last ensuring there are no stragglers.